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Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari
Let's work together.
Thu Nov 30, 2017 21:30

There were many things Tatiana liked about herbology, but she supposed the strangest was probably that it was a time when people other than her wore gloves outside. She was still generally the only one or one of very few who wore a hat, but at least her hands didn’t stand out unless someone took notice of her removing her bracelets and changing her walk-in-the-garden gloves for her gardening gloves after entering the greenhouse. By this point, however, they were probably sufficiently used to it to overlook it, especially when – as he did today – Professor Xavier actually told them to wear gloves.

He also instructed them to leave behind everything but their gloves and wands, but Tatiana drew the line at leaving her hat. She had started going outside bare-handed more and more often since the weather began to warm up, half-pleased and half-unnerved by the thought that she was deliberately not doing something How Mama Said It Ought To Be Done, but it just seemed unnatural and imprudent to go out to do gardening work without something to shield her face from the sun. Mama said that people who let themselves take sun on their faces ended up with skin that looked like old, broken-down leather that ought to be thrown away when they were still relatively young, and Tatiana could not imagine that the sun here was actually less damaging than that at their dacha. All the facts Tatiana knew suggested that if anything, it would be worse, and so her hat came along with her, her gardening gloves, and her wand despite the instructions.

Tatiana knew that hedges could be magical, of course – there were some which were part of the house defenses – but she did not know about the specific kind at Sonora and so let someone else answer Professor Xavier’s question and tried to remember all he said. The hedges were confusing at night? That was inconvenient for her, really, as she lived out here, though she could see how it might be useful from a defensive standpoint – it was difficult to approach the school without going into the Gardens, which were confusing even before an intruder became magically confused as well. They probably would not be good at all at home, though, because of the long dark stretch that was winter, and because of the white nights in summer – moonlight was not a thing they would see much of in a few months.

Some of the finer points of Professor Xavier’s speech – kindling, for instance – passed her by, but she got the majority of the point, including what she was supposed to do, without difficulty. She went to a battered hedge and knelt down on the ground to look for any clear divides between healthy and unhealthy branches. It wasn’t as easy as she might have hoped; Professor Xavier had not been exaggerating when he had said that the roots were often in shadow, and the bottom part of the hedges suffered from some of the same problem. The leaves were a bit sparser, probably as a result, but the tangle was difficult to work with.

An idea occurred to her and she looked up at her nearest neighbor. “I need help,” she said, very clearly; she had been taught this phrase specifically and so had practiced it until it was clearer and more confidently used than the English sentences she tried to put together for herself in novel situations. “We may help each other, yes? One hold back the – edge – “ she pulled back part of a branch to demonstrate more clearly what she meant – “and other use the Sever Charm on – dead part.” Her brain still tried to insist she had just said ‘use the North Spell’, but that wasn’t what the word meant in English and that was that. “Okay?”

  • Beginners: Junior Groundskeepers - Professor X, Thu Nov 30 10:48
    The labyrinth hedges were beginning to bud. Tips of grass were beginning to poke through the dirt alongside the well travelled paths of the gardens. Flowers were beginning to sprout amid the tiny... more
    • Let's work together. - Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari, Thu Nov 30 21:30
      • Two heads and Four Hands - Parker Fitzgerald - Pecari, Thu Dec 7 12:56
        Smell of dirt and green things filled Parker’s nose as he made his way into Greenhouse One. As he raced into the Greenhouse he dumped is backpack on the ground near the door. Herbology was one of his ... more
        • And a vocabulary and a half. - Tatiana, Thu Dec 21 22:39
          Sometimes, Tatiana thought the center of the thing was not so much the number of words she had learned this year, but that she had simply gotten better at quickly figuring out what people meant from... more
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